The Paleo Diet And Allergies

Once upon a time, in a land far, far, away….some called it Kentucky…..was a man called Barry Cripps. Barry was a generally healthy chap, with no major ailments to speak of, but what he DID have, was a nasty case of seasonal allergies

. Every spring his allergies would flair in unison with the rising pollen count. His nose would run, sneezing would come in fits, and his eyes and the roof of this mouth would itch like crazy.

Pretty But Dangerous

Year after year, the only thing that helped his plight was a certain little once-a-day pill from the local drug store. The little pill would alleviate most of the symptoms, but would make the poor man feel drowsy during the day, and then symptoms would return at night. Even while regularly taking the pill, our hero Barry was seldom able to mow the yard, because if the pollen count was high, he would have chest congestion, and labored breathing for the rest of the day.

Ok, ok…enough with the “third-person” perspective. Obviously, I’m talking about myself here. I used to have terrible seasonal allergies, and now I don’t. Why? I started eating according to the Paleo Template, and I stopped eating crap.

I think that fundamentally, removing wheat from my diet was one element of the Paleo Diet, that made the most impact upon my life. Even if a person eats an otherwise poor diet, if the only change they make is to remove all wheat products from their diet, they will almost certainly notice that their overall health improves in many ways.

There is some evidence that wheat (because of the gluten protein it contains) is the main cause of the majority of food, animal, and environmental allergies. Sadly, there is almost zero study data or scientific studies to show such a link, but there is an absolute ton of anecdotal evidence from people who have removed wheat from their diet, or from their family’s diet, and have seen an almost immediate disappearance of allergy symptoms. If you don’t believe me, just go to your favorite search engine, and type in “Gluten Seasonal Allergies” or some combination thereof. This is one of the first times that I’ve actually decided not to include any quoted text in my article, because I honestly couldn’t find any truly credible sources.

Allergies have to be caused by something. I know what you’re going to say…they’re caused by pollen and such, right? Well, why would we be allergic to pollen, as a species, if we spent many thousands of years, living out in the wilderness? Does it make sense to be allergic to breathing in such a natural component of the environment, considering that we are fundamentally animals, and therefore part of the environment too?

Do you know why so many of our domestic pets have allergies, just like we do? It’s because we feed them crap food that contains wheat, or at least wheat gluten. If your pet has allergies, go look at their food, and I guarantee that you’ll see wheat or gluten specified in the ingredients somewhere.

Gluten penetrates the mucosal barrier in the gut, where it is able to make it into the blood stream. Once it’s there, the human immune system sees it as a threat and mounts an all out attack against these foreign proteins. The problem is that the gluten protein looks a lot like other regular proteins, and so the body begins to attack itself. This is the very meaning of the phrase “autoimmune”, because

the body literally attacks itself. Now if you continue to unwittingly consume wheat products, the immune response can become stronger and more sustained, and over time serious autoimmune conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Krohn’s disease, or Rheumatoid Arthritis can develop. Many of the systems that are associated with seasonal allergies are because of chronic inflammation, which is part of autoimmunity….and guess what inflammation can ultimately lead to? You’ve guessed it, CANCER.

The bottom line is that allergies are not just something to ignore. Don’t just pop a pill and go about your business. Seasonal allergies are a clear sign that something is wrong within your body, and it’s more than likely caused by something you’re EATING, not something you’re breathing.

The Paleo Diet and Allergies

You know what, I know I didn’t include any real science in this article, but if you have seasonal allergies, and you want to find out the truth, go ahead and cut wheat out of your diet for at least two weeks to a month, and see what happens. Sometimes, the only way to see if something truly works for you, is to give it a shot. While you’re at it, why don’t you just go full Paleo for 30 days, and see how great you feel?


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Barry Cripps is a Paleo-based, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, who operates out of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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3 Responses to The Paleo Diet And Allergies

  1. ProudDaddy April 26, 2012 at 6:10 am

    My wife’s year-round allergies were completely eliminated by going gluten-free, but it didn’t touch her seasonal allergies. We are all different.

  2. Jon April 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

    My allergy season is in the Fall, so we’ll see what happens. But I’d been swimming with nose plugs (4 days a week, 1 1/2 hours per time) since I used to have a fairly serous reaction to chlorine. Having gone mostly paleo and almost totally wheatless, this particular allergy seems to be gone. I’m nose-plugless for almost a month now with almost no reaction at all.

  3. HeatherT April 26, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Yes, mine went away too. After some years, so did my chronic sinusitis. There is a whole cupboard of medication I don’t take any more! Wheat is just plain evil, in my book. I don’t think the older Einkorn was really much better, based on the health of those really early farmers (like Oetzi).